Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been reading my book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law
Here is the full text of Resolution # 109 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention
Valuing All Families
Members of SEIU work hard every day to provide for their families and build for them a better future. Our members’ love of and commitment to their families reflect true family values.
Members of SEIU live in a broad array of family structures. Many of us care for and live with family members– including aging parents, grandchildren, adult siblings, and more – who are not recognized by our employers or our government as “family” because they are not related to us by marriage, blood or adoption.
Laws and policies that narrowly define “family” as limited to two legally-married adults of the opposite sex raising their biological children are often used against immigrants, people of color and the working poor who are more likely to live in family structures that differ from this model.
Narrow definitions of family exclude many relationships that our members call family, including relationships with individuals for whom we have primary care-taking responsibility and relationships with individuals with whom we share economic and emotional interdependence.
Government and employer-provided benefits should support individuals with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support minor children and dependent adults in all family forms, and should protect interdependent adult relationships.
Therefore be it resolved:
This convention affirms SEIU’s commitment to valuing all families, and to protecting the widest possible range of family structures.
SEIU will make it a collective bargaining and legislative goal to ensure that all of our members’ families are respected, protected, and enjoy equal rights and benefits.
SEIU will support and advocate for legislative efforts, at all levels of government, that allow workers to define for themselves who will be considered their family.
SEIU will oppose efforts to penalize working people who live in family structures different from the nuclear family model, such as “overcrowding” regulations that seek to restrict who is permitted to live together in one household and have been used to target immigrant communities and communities of color.
Thanks for Nicole Berner, SEIU Associate General Counsel, for bringing this to my attention (and telling me it was based on my book). Berner notes that this resolution allows SEIU to take positions consistent with the resolution without the need for further consideration or action. Thanks also to SEIU General Counsel Judith Scott for her decades of devotion to the labor movement.